Feb. 26, 2006
HOUSTON - The University of Houston softball team dropped a 2-1 pitchers dual to Wichita State in the championship game of the Crowne Plaza Classic Sunday at the Cougar Softball Stadium.
"It's the little things that make the difference in close games like today's," head coach Kyla Holas said. "It's tough to swallow when you beat yourself where on the flip side you can deal with it a little bit easier whenever someone just beats you."
The game was scoreless after seven innings and went to the international tiebreaker putting a runner on second base to start each half-inning. Both teams came up with clutch two-out singles to score runs in the eighth inning to keep the game tied.
Brroke Usher responded for the Shockers hitting a single of her own up the middle to score pinch-runner Jessica Laky in the bottom of the eight.
With runners on second and third in the home half of the night, Barnett delivered the game-winning single to left field giving the Shockers a 2-1 victory.
Candi Kloecker was the tough-luck loser falling to 6-2 on the season. Both runs scored in extra innings were unearned and Kloecker extended her streak without allowing an earned run to 35.2 consecutive innings dating back to the Baylor game on February 17.
"Candi did a wonderful job in the circle for us," Holas said. "She keeps doing the job for us everyday in those tough situations and she keeps rising up. The team backs her up defensively and really responds to her positive energy out there."
Houston will have a week to prepare for the Time Warner Texas Invitational next weekend in Austin. The Cougars will square off with Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Mississippi and host No. 4 Texas.
"We're a little bit in our heads right now struggling on offense," Holas said. "I'm glad we have a week to bounce back. We have to make sure that we don't let stuff stay with us and move forward from this game."
Sunday was the first meeting on the softball diamond between Houston and Wichita State ... The Cougars fall to 2-1 in one-run games and to 1-1 this season in extra inning contests ... This is the first time that Houston has lost this season in five games when wearing red jerseys and gray pants in addition to not committing an error in the field ... Houston extended its streak to three games without an error on defense ... Four of the four losses this season for Houston have come in day games ... Candi Kloecker extended her streak to 35.2 innings of not giving up an earned run dating back to the Baylor game on February 17 ... The Blinn College transfer had her ERA drop from 0.30 to 0.26 ... Katie Bush picked up her sixth multi-hit game ... By drawing a walk in the fifth inning, Jaci Gonzalez has reached base in seven of nine games when in the batting order ... With a single in the fourth inning, Elaina Nordstrom is the only Cougar to reach base safely in all 18 games this season ... Christa Raley drew her team-best 15th walk in the seventh inning ... The LaPorte, Texas native has picked up a walk in 12 of her last 13 games.